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Testing for Peer Effects Using Genetic Data

Author

Listed:
  • Cawley, J.;
  • Han, E.;
  • Kim, J.;
  • Norton, E.C.;

Abstract

This paper tests for peer effects in obesity in a novel way. It addresses the reflection problem by using the alter’s genetic risk score for obesity, which is a significant predictor of obesity, is determined prior to birth, and cannot be affected by the behavior of others. It addresses the endogeneity of peer group formation by examining peers who are not self-selected: full siblings. We find evidence of positive peer effects in weight and obesity; having a sibling with a high genetic predisposition to obesity raises one’s risk of obesity, even controlling for one’s own genetic predisposition to obesity.

Suggested Citation

  • Cawley, J.; & Han, E.; & Kim, J.; & Norton, E.C.;, 2018. "Testing for Peer Effects Using Genetic Data," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 18/19, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
  • Handle: RePEc:yor:hectdg:18/19
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    Cited by:

    1. Han Yu & Naci Mocan, 2018. "The Impact of High School Curriculum on Confidence, Academic Success, and Mental and Physical Well-Being of University Students," NBER Working Papers 24573, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    peer effects; obesity; genetics;

    JEL classification:

    • I1 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health
    • I12 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Behavior
    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health
    • D1 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior
    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z18 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Public Policy

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